Billy Windsor Busted!


War Hero
Only in the Army!!!!!

NICOSIA (AFP) - A disgraced regimental goat stationed in Cyprus has won back his stripe by impressing top military brass on the same parade ground where his antics spoilt Queen Elizabeth II's birthday celebrations, army officials have told AFP.

William (Billy) Windsor, was demoted to private after refusing to keep in step with a marching band marking the Queen's 80th birthday on June 16, at Episkopi garrison near Limassol on the Mediterranean island's south coast.

Billy -- attached to the 1st battalion Royal Welsh -- spent three months in the wilderness before his shot at redemption.

And it was on the same Happy Valley parade field where Billy regained the respect of his fellow soldiers.

Billy -- Army Number 25232301 -- regained his rank after "turning heads" during last week's Alma Day parade to celebrate a Royal Welsh victory in the Crimea War, 1854.

"Billy was honoured to receive his promotion of Lance Corporal by the Colonel of the Royal Welsh Regiment, Brigadier Roderick Porter," British Forces Cyprus spokesman captain Crispin Coates told AFP Tuesday.

"He marched proudly and with his head held high," he added.

The goat was a popular member of the 1st Battalion before his lack of decorum got him into hot water during the birthday bash.

Moreover, the British army in Cyprus had received a protest letter from a Canadian animal rights group demanding the army reinstate Billy as he was "only acting the goat" during the Queen's ceremony.

"Billy performed exceptionally well, he has had all summer to reflect on his behaviour at the Queen's birthday and clearly earned the rank he deserves," said Captain Simon Clarke.

As an NCO, the goat can now enjoy the privileges his rank entails.

"This will include soldiers standing to attention and having membership of the Corporals' Mess," said Crispin.

Billy was marched before his commanding officer Huw James after being reported for "unacceptable behaviour" during the Queen's birthday drill.

Six-year-old Billy is on his first overseas tour since joining the regiment in 2001.

Although the goat has regained his standing, soldiers are not allowed to ply him with booze and cigarettes on animal welfare grounds.

Billy is not a mascot but very much a member of the regiment given his own serial number and marches at the head of the battalion.

Queen Victoria presented the Regiment -- among the most prestigious in the British army -- with a Kashmir goat from the royal herd in 1844 and successive monarchs have replaced the original ruminant ever since.